Pak army launches nationwide military ops 'Radd-ul-Fasaad'

Pak army launches nationwide military ops 'Radd-ul-Fasaad'
Pakistan army today launched nationwide military operation 'Radd-ul-Fasaad' to eliminate terrorists and consolidate gains of its counter-terrorism operations, days after a wave of suicide attacks that killed more than 125 people, including 88 at a Sufi shrine in Sindh.

'Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad' — an Arabic word which translates roughly to 'elimination of discord' - has been launched across the country, the army's media wing Inter-Services Public Relations said in a statement.

According to the statement, the operation aims include the elimination of the residual and latent threat of terrorism, consolidating gains of operations made so far and ensuring the security of Pakistan's borders.

"The Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Navy, Civil Armed Forces as well as other security and law enforcement agencies will continue to actively participate and support the efforts of the Pakistan Army to eliminate the menace of terrorism from the country," the statement said.

The operation will entail conduct of broad spectrum security and counter-terrorism operations by Rangers in Punjab, continuation of ongoing operations across the country and focus on more effective border security management.

It will also include a countrywide de-weaponisation and explosive control as additional cardinals of the effort, the statement said, adding that the hallmark of the operation will be pursuance of the National Action Plan.

The National Action Plan was launched after the Peshawar school attack to eliminate terrorists. There was a lot of criticism in Pakistan that NAP was not properly implemented.

The decision to launch operation came after army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa held a high-level security meeting in Lahore which was attended by all Corps Commanders in Punjab province, DG PR Punjab, and intelligence officials. An important part of the operation was deployment of paramilitary Rangers in Punjab province to counter terrorism.

Earlier in the day, the federal government had approved a request by Punjab for the deployment of Rangers in the state. Punjab had requested the federal government to deploy over 2,000 Rangers, who would be given policing powers to conduct intelligence-based operations against militants.

The province - a stronghold of ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz - had in the past resisted deployment of army or paramilitary troops as it might have infringed its power.

Security sources said that Rangers will be allowed to act freely without meddling by the provincial government. Taliban linked militant groups like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Sipah-e-Sahaba and Jaish-e-Mohammad are active in Punjab.

The operation came after a wave of suicide attacks across Pakistan last week, including one in Lahore and another on the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in Sindh, that killed more than 125 people and wounded over 300 others.

Pakistani forces retaliated with a crackdown, killing dozens of terrorists and hitting militant hideouts along the border with Afghanistan.
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